When to buy a new co:mputer?

  281apple 06:50 28 Jun 2006

This might seem like a crazy question but up to now I see only two possible reasons. 1) One should buy when one needs a new computer, or 2) one does not really need, but one just yearns for a new one.
Maybe someone can give me more technical and down to earth answers to the question. My present computer is a laptop, Fijitsu siemens Amilo which is two and a half years old. It is OK, but since I create videos and slide shows and use Photoshop a lot, I notice that at times it slows down and does not react as quickly as I would like. And even if this is a personal question which each of us have to answer, I am looking for is a more technical and rational approach and all comments and/or suggestions will be appreciated.

  281apple 06:54 28 Jun 2006

Gosh, I'm going to pieces....I forgot to say that the question is "When to buy a new computer". Sorry!

  Hertz Van Rentyl 08:59 28 Jun 2006

Whenever you buy one an updated model will be acailable a week later!

  Hertz Van Rentyl 09:01 28 Jun 2006

available that is!! Should stop practising the Vent. act on line.

  961 09:18 28 Jun 2006

One answer is that the new Windows Vista will be out within a year and after waiting 6 months for the inevitable bugs that the public will find to be ironed out there will be much to be said for having that software

If you buy now obviously a large upgrade bill will follow in a year

However, if your work on your existing computer is compromised by lack of speed/memory etc then you may want to think about buying in the slack sales period around summer hols when there are lots of sales offers/price reductions from folk like Dell. On that basis the upgrade to Vista will be taken care of

  Diemmess 09:25 28 Jun 2006

All computers become slower and slo w e r.
This is for two reasons.

Every action leaves traces, and most become loaded with all sorts of things successful and not so good.

Law of diminishing returns applies to the way it SEEMS to work.
No sensation of speed lasts for long, you just become impatient.

  keef66 09:42 28 Jun 2006

If you're single and solvent, and you get to choose what you spend your money on, you can buy a new pc any time you like. Don't even try to justify it. New technology is coming along all the time, and it all sounds very sexy, and sooner or later you just have to have it.

If on the other hand like me you're the sole breadwinner of a family, mortgaged to the earlobes, you'll find yourself having to justify every penny you spend on anything other than bills. You'll buy the best all-round pc you can afford once the kids are old enough to need acces to one, and you'll only be able to replace the bits which break, or make upgrades the family genuinely needs.

I have made convincing cases for adding a lan card (so we could get broadband) a USB 2 card (for the Ipod, PSP, camcorder etc)an extra 512mb ram and a modest graphics card (for games the kids - now teenagers- want to play)
Now I want a TFT screen, an external hard drive for backups, and some software / cables / pre-amp so I can start transferring our old vinyl to the pc and CD.

For your video / slide show / photoshop work you'd probably find a significant improvement if you bought a modest desktop pc today.

  281apple 18:20 28 Jun 2006

Thanks. Actually, 961 and keef66's replies got me thinking about another approach. I was hoping to get some specific comments about Intel Centrino and AMD Turion vs Intel Celeron and the advantages of 1,83 Ghz over 1,5 GHz.
I guess my question did not exactly express what I had in mind. Sorry.

  Diemmess 20:31 28 Jun 2006

Not being flippant this time....

I think that at any period in time the range of computers for sale will have very similar architecture for its retail price, whether a budget PC or the top of the range model.

[I mean that all the budget PCs will have built-in economies, like smaller HDs less RAM less expansion possibility and simpler Mobos.
The top of the range PCs will have every gizmo which may attract a buyer and tempt him into a higher price for things he may not actually need.
There will certainly be the possibility of a large monitor, which really has nothing to do with the computing power fed to it and could be bought anyway with a humbler outfit!]

It seems to me that the CPU (within the class) you are buying, will make very little difference between an AMD or Intel product

With memory-hungry applications like Photoshop heavy investment in RAM will have more noticeable and pleasing results than paying heavily for a slightly faster CPU

  Frosty120 20:47 28 Jun 2006

After using a few sub standard Celeron's with which I was far from impressed with a few years back, I struggle to trust the brand. But to be fair that was years ago and they may have improved. Also, I think the motherboards may have been cheap.
Getting a good motherboard is essential, I have an Athlon XP 3000+ processor and an MSI motherboard with quite a high spec. I've used it heavily for almost 3 years (and I mean heavily). Although there is slow down and crashes (particularly at start up and shut down), the system seems far more capible than my year old laptop (used far less heavily) with an AMD mobile processor. Both systems have the same amount of RAM, the laptop has more GHZ, so as I say, the motherboard is important. Also a desktop is better than a laptop, because it runs cooler, has more electricty to convert to power and is cheaper!
Also, good point on monitors, got a 19inch with this computer, I didn't expect it to have half the effect it did, bigger and higher resolution makes things just seem better! I now have a 22inch and feel even more productive in my workflow output!

  wee eddie 23:20 28 Jun 2006

Horses for courses.

Both Intel and AMD make more than a single range of chips, with a variety of different speeds within each range.

The most obvious differences are those designed for low energy consumption, those designed for simple Office type tasks, and those designed to handle complex calculations, 3D Designs and Games. Those three descriptions are gross simplifications but I hope the others will let it pass for now.

How you plan to use your computer decides the type that you require and the size of your wallet decides the speed that you can afford.

Slow is a matter of perception, depending on the complexity of the task set, it can be measured in milliseconds, minutes or hours.

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